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Those comments were just part of Shkreli’s “campaign of disruption” in which he has commented “to the press and on social media” and made “a spectacle of himself and the trial,” prosecutors wrote in their motion for a gag order. They accused Shkreli, who was banned from Twitter earlier this year for harassing a female journalist, of being behind an anonymous account that has been commenting on the trial.
“If this behavior continues, it is only a matter of time before Shkreli, or a member of the public who is repeating Shkreli’s statements, exposes one or more jurors to precisely the sort of extrajudicial evidence or commentary and our system forbids,” the prosecutors wrote.
Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman ─ who speculated in his opening statements
that his client might be “just nuts” ─ responded by accusing the media of trying to “bait” his client, who he said was in a “frail emotional state” and trying to defend himself against “one-sided coverage.”
While Brafman said he has told Shkreli to knock it off, a gag order would violate Shkreli’s First Amendment rights, Brafman said.
The filings were made on Monday, two days before the trial was set to resume before U.S. District Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto.
Shkreli, 34, became a target of public derision when he raised the price of an AIDS drug by more than 5,000 percent. His trial, where he faces eight counts of wire and securities fraud, aren’t related to that move. They cover his time as portfolio manager of two hedge funds and the founder of pharmaceutical company Retrophin.
Shkreli has continued to grab attention with various antics since his arrest, flaunting large purchases on social media,
including a rare album by the rap group Wu-Tang Clan.